The mantra lately is, “Do you have an app for that?” That being said, there are a lot of app stores popping up, be it mobile, application or browser based. Google Chrome is no slouch in the add-on department. We’ve listed down the best Chrome extensions from categories like Education, Entertainment, Games, Lifestyle, News & Weather, Productivity, Shopping, Social & Communication and Utilities. Here is a breakdown of the most popular apps and extensions in each Chrome Web Store category.
While some of these web apps are links to the main page, many are actual applications built to run in the web browser.
The Best Chrome Extensions and Apps by Category
A great learning tool for those interested in earth science. You start with 4 elements and need to make a total of 210 combinations. (i.e. water + earth= mud and wind + earth = dust)
The Kindle cloud reader lets read all the books you buy for your Amazon Kindle right in your browser. You can read our detailed review of our kindle cloud reader. There are a number of ways to download free books on your Kindle Device or for your Kindle Cloud Reader.
3dTin is a great 3D model program for a beginner. The program works right from your browser so there is no need to spend a fortune to try it out to see if it is your cup of tea. Great practice app for those interested in design or if you want to create a 3D model for a project.
Google Books is a fantastic alternative to options like the Kindle and the Nook applications. What sets Google Books apart is there are more books available. The selection has more unknown authors or Indie books available for purchase.
Test your typing skills with several different typing methods ranging from memory to focus to special reasoning. It is a good practice app for those looking to increase or test their speed on the keyboard.
This is just a cool app. If you are studying anatomy or just interested in the human body and how it works, you will have a good time using this Chrome app.
Busuu is a free language learning site. While there are many options to help you learn a language, Bussu gets you in touch with people who natively speak the language you are learning. Bussu is the modern-day equivalent of having a pen pal in a different country years ago.
Math is hard for a lot of people. Turing it into a game will help more people learn the fundamentals of math. By matching the tiles that add up to the same number, you are forced to do math to complete the game.
The Elementals is a fun way to learn the periodic table. You can play with each element is a fun little character to help you remember what each one is made of.
WiBit is a link to software coding courses. The courses are presented in bite-sized portions to let you learn quickly.
As you could guess by the name, this is a great spot to learn about ancient history. There are definitions and news and lots of interesting articles to feed your craving for ancient times.
Comic books are the first thing many young boys read for fun. Marvel’s Chrome app helps you save a tree while still getting all of the fantastic stories you have grown up reading at a fraction of the cost.
Cargo Bridge is another game that takes some thinking to make work. It is like Angry Birds for engineering students.
Google Music is Google’s cloud music app. You can upload your music to it and access it from anywhere. Add up to 20,000 of your own songs and even get some free ones from Google to add to your mix.
Using the effects to modify snapshots taken from your webcam can help you spice up some pictures of yourself. You can download the pictures and/or share them with your friends on your social site of choice.
Rdio is a streaming music web app letting you listen to millions of songs for free with no ads. There is an app for some smartphones as well.
An online video store lets you buy or rent new movies and watch them right in your browser.
Crackle lets you watch full-length movies for free. There are actually popular movies like Donnie Brasco and Step Brothers on here to watch. It isn’t just lame B movies like some other free services. There is also a mobile app for Crackle.
If you like to make your own music, this will ear up hours of your time. Beatlab lets you make your own beats and share them with your friends or download them as a mp3.
Lets you make your modern pictures look like they are retro. There are also a lot of different effects for you to use to make your webcam snapshots or uploaded pictures look unique.
A bit more advanced than Beatlab, Audiotool is another music making app. It gives you a wide range of tools and templates to make the sound you want.
Carrotsticks is for kids in 1st-5th grade where they compete in math games with other kids the same age from all over the world.
Epic-Unlimited is a eBook Library for kids of age 12 and under. It provides the access over 10,000 high quality books for kids.
Looking at the stars is always a fun family activity. Using this sky map application, you can learn about what you are looking at.
This is a unique take on a crossword game. You don’t have a set opponent, you play against everyone! The board is ever-expanding.
Turn your browser into a kid-safe tv station. They can browse different channels like Science, How-tos, Sesame Street, and Kids songs.
Using Kid Mode, you can make your browser kid-safe and let the access fun things like an art station, videos, and video mail. User Interface is designed for kids in a way that kids can read, view it easily.
My Robot Nation
Create your own robot and have it made and shipped to you! The toy will be unique to you.
A digital coloring book for kids. There are a bunch of different pictures to color. You an also share the finished masterpiece on Facebook.
Play a quick round on a digital remake of real courses. Play quick challenges or a full round, whatever you have the time for.
A fun side scrolling game where the main character is a stick figure. Battle all kinds of enemies using your arrow keys to control the movement.
Match all the tiles to win. A great strategy game and patience tester.
Use different shape blocks to get the ball from the doorway to the hole. Pretty simple in theory, difficult in reality.
A battle for the skies in 24 different planes against wave after wave of enemy squadrons. The game can last as long as you can.
Bubble shooter is a great time waster. You need to point the arrow at the same color ball and try to pop them in groups of 3 or more. It is a bit harder than it seems.
If you have ever thought about shooting an apple off of someone’s head with a bow and arrow, this is your chance to do it safely.
Gun Bros is a top view destroy everything that moves kinda game. If it moves, shoot it.
A great digital version of a classic game. There are 10 difficult levels to complete.
When you are in the market for a new apartment, the task can be daunting to find a place. Use the filters and overlays on Google Maps to help you search.
One of the hardest parts of working out, aside from the motivation, is making up a good workout routine. GAIN Fitness to the rescue. All of the routines are made by certified trainers for maximum effectiveness.
Being able to track your workout helps with motivation. When you can see progress, you are less likely to skip a day. Create, print, track and chart your workout with this gem.
One of the most important parts of any lifestyle is eating right. Plan, track and budget what you eat. They say their average active user loses 12 pounds!
News and Weather
Read the NY Times right in your browser. Their layout is a bit less distracting than going to the NY Times site to read.
NPR is a great news and talk station. This app optimized for Chrome will give you the best user experience possible.
The folks at Weather Underground bring you an awesome application for Chrome. It is a full-screen weather app with street view and radar. It’s like Google Earth meets Weather Underground.
When you use your Google Reader to keep up on all of your sites, Feedly is a great way to change the user experience. The layout and navigation and almost everything is transformed into a more magazine stand-like experience.
Your ideal app to wrangle all of your social feeds into one place. See all of your friends, pics, videos, and updates neatly arranged into tabs for easier access.
Cricket is popular. Get all of your news from this ad-free ESPN application optimized for Chrome.
Following the market can be a full-time job. Use this shortcut to get to Google Finance to see how your preferred companies are doing today.
Out of all of the weather apps, this one seems to have the coolest looking layout. It has several tabs and to let the floating window display what you want to see. There is integration with Google Maps, geo-location and other services. See real-time traffic and weather along with pictures of what’s going on out there.
India is a big place with a lot happening. Get your local news from 30 major cities, videos, movie reviews and more with this Chrome optimized app.
Evernote is one of the most widely uses no taking applications. It is a cross-platform app and accessible anywhere there is the internet, including your Chrome browser.
Take note quickly right from your browser. Allows searching, editing and also syncing to the cloud making your notes accessible from anywhere.
It is a tool that allows you to view CAD files(DXF, DWG…) directly in your browser. It supports Auto CAD DWG, DXF, DWF, HPGL, PLT, SVG, CGM, EMF, WMF.
Remember the Milk is a very, very useful task manager. This Chrome app gives you quick access to the site where you can access all of your to-dos.
Are you just starting out with your small business and can’t afford much in the way of accounting software? Wave Accounting is a free accounting application that lets you send invoices and track expenses. You can also have information regularly retrieved from your bank account so you are always up-to-date.
If you work on the web for a living, you know how easy it is to get distracted. However, you don’t always realize where the time has gone. Rescue Time will tell you exactly how much time you are spending on which sites.
Ge.tt lets you share extremely large files instantly. If you need to send large file types like DWG, this app will be something for you to look into.
For the frequenter of eBay, this app is going to be heaven for you. It lets you shop a bit easier than going to the site itself.
When you are in the market for a house, Zillow is a very useful tool. Not only is there a Chrome app, but there are also mobile apps to help you narrow down and view houses in your area of choice.
Planning a holiday is difficult enough. Makie finding your flight and hotel a bit easier with Hipmunk. They claim “agony-free” travel searching.
Shop the Amazon stores a bit differently and you are accustomed to. There is a more fun navigation and better way to go through the sub-categories.
If you are an avid reader, you likely have a favorite category of books. Any New Books will notify you for free if a new book comes out in your area of interest.
Graffiti gets a bad reputation most of the time. Regardless of your love or distain for it, graffiti is artistic. Graffiti supplies will help you find stores anywhere in the world that sell your kind of supplies.
Shopglider keeps all of your shopping lists, coupons and recipes all in one place.There are even mobile options making this app very useful.
CanIStream.it is a neat app. You can type in a show or movie and it will tell you legit sites where you can watch it for free. If there isn’t anyone out there with the rights to stream it, you can click on a link to buy it.
Social and Communication
One of the most popular social networking management apps out there. Use this quick link to get to your account.
Quick access to your Gmail account.
Great for a quick link to your Google Calendar right from your apps tab.
Save clicks getting to Tweetdeck online.
An entirely different way to organize and share the stuff you find on the web. It is almost like mind-mapping mixed with a bookmarking service.
For the quote lovers out there, get this app for fast access to your quotbook.com account.
Prezi is an innovative social presentation tool. It is not a linear presentation tool, you can focus in on one topic then zoom out and jump ahead to something totally different. It makes for better crowd participation.
Social Bro is analytics for your Twitter community. If you are using your Twitter account for business, you may want to at least peek at the tools offered like: download your follower list, analyzing your competition and easily visualizing your data in charts.
IMO is a great web-based IM service. There are no accounts to create, just access your Yahoo, GTalk or other instant message services on the web.
Offline Google Mail is something we have covered here before. This app is great for those who travel or have intermittent internet connections. It allows you to download an offline version of your web mail.
They call themselves the procrastinators to-do list app. Unlike other task managers, this one makes it easy to push things off until tomorrow.
Cashbase is a personal finance app. You can easily track your income, expenses, import your bank statements and budget your money. There are also charts you can use to see where your money is going.
Timer tab is a really cool idea and very useful for web workers or anyone who doesn’t want to lose track of time while playing on the web. In a new visible tab, there will be a timer or alarm displayed. Don’t let dinner burn while you play on Facebook.
Wunderlist is a well-known to-do list manager. You can access Wunderlist from just about anywhere including your mobile devices. It syncs to the cloud so you always know what’s next on the list.
In a new tab, you can have a full-screen digital clock. The time also displays in the tab title.
Quickly make a website for your event or cause. Want to sell something or start a blog, Weebly is a fast way to do just that.
The English language is pretty darn confusing. There are times when you are reading something and aren’t sure what a word means. Or if you are writing and need to find the correct word for the sentence. Using the Dictionary Instant app will help.
Most Useful Chrome Extensions
If you come across a word you are unsure of while in the web, you can highlight it and ask Google Dictionary to define and even speak the word to you.
Save web pages to your Evernote account with this web clipper. It removes all of the ads and other non-essential information when it saves the page as a note.
Enlarge the pictures in your Facebook feed without actually clicking on them. Just hover to enlarge.
While you are looking at products online, you can quickly add them to your Amazon Wishlist to buy later.
If you work on the web or just like to do things faster, FastestChrome will autoload the next page, look up definitions and help you find deals all of which will speed up what you are doing.
If you are looking at something your boss may not want you to like your Facebook feed, you can quickly hide all of your open tabs and restore them later.
When Gmail is your default email app, you will need to be directed to Gmail when you click on an email address, not Outlook or Mail. This extension is your problem solver.
Take a quick screen grab of what you are doing and add arrows and other annotations for your blog posts or just sending the picture to someone.
Add mouse gestures to Chrome and simplify your browsing experience.
Some sites work best when using Internet Explorer. IE Tab will make the site think you are using IE.
The apps on the list are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is available in the Chrome WebStore. If you have any suggestions for applications or extensions you could not live without, leave a comment and let us know.